How much is a half pound of crab legs?

Crab legs are a delicious and popular seafood option enjoyed by many. When buying crab legs, they are often sold by the pound. A frequently asked question is how much does a half pound of crab legs cost? The answer depends on several factors including the type of crab, where they are purchased, whether they are fresh or frozen, and any current specials or sales. This article will provide a thorough overview of how much a half pound of crab legs costs from different vendors and suppliers.

Quick Answer

On average, fresh crab legs cost $8 to $15 per pound retail. So a half pound of crab legs will be $4 to $7.50 depending on the type. Popular options like snow crab legs or king crab legs tend to be on the higher end while blue crab or Dungeness crab legs are usually cheaper. At higher end restaurants or seafood markets, a half pound may cost $10 to $20. For frozen crab legs at the grocery store, expect to pay $5 to $12 for a half pound bag. So the typical range is about $4 to $12 for a half pound.

Average Cost by Type of Crab

The species of crab determines the price per pound due to availability, harvest challenges, and popularity. Here are average costs for a half pound of some common types of crab legs:

Snow Crab Legs

$7 to $15 per half pound

Snow crab, also called Queen crab, are among the priciest crab legs. Most snow crab legs come from Alaska or Canada. Their sweet, delicate meat makes them a customer favorite. Due to high demand, half a pound of snow crab legs costs $7 to $15 at the retail level.

King Crab Legs

$12 to $20 per half pound

The largest of crab species, king crab legs command premium prices. King crab is caught wild in Alaska’s cold waters. The legs are huge with firm, moist meat. Half a pound of king crab legs will cost $12 to $20 at nicer seafood markets. These jumbo crab legs can cost up to $50 per pound at certain restaurants.

Dungeness Crab Legs

$4 to $8 per half pound

Native to the Pacific Northwest, Dungeness crab has tender, sweet meat with a delicate flavor. It costs significantly less than king or snow crab. Expect to pay $4 to $8 for a half pound of fresh Dungeness crab legs from a local fish market or grocery store.

Blue Crab Legs

$4 to $10 per half pound

The iconic Chesapeake blue crab offers delicious meat at reasonable prices. A half pound of steamed blue crab legs will cost $4 to $10 retail. Blue crab is found all along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Many seafood restaurants sell specials like all-you-can-eat blue crab legs at budget prices.

Where to Buy Crab Legs

The retailer or venue where you purchase crab legs also impacts the price. Here are some of the most common places to buy crab legs and typical half pound costs:

Seafood Markets

$8 to $20 per half pound

Independent seafood markets and fishmongers offer fresh crab legs. Specialty stores focus on quality and service. A half pound of crab legs at nice seafood markets generally ranges from $8 to $20. The advantage is the crab meat will be fresh and they’ll often let you pick your own legs.

Grocery Stores

$5 to $15 per half pound

Major supermarket chains like Kroger, Safeway, Publix, and Albertsons sell both fresh crab legs and frozen bags. Fresh king crab or snow legs can cost $10 to $15 per half pound. Frozen snow crab bags are $5 to $10 per half pound. Check for weekly sales or loyalty card discounts to save.

Warehouse Clubs

$5 to $10 per half pound

Bulk retailers like Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club offer large bags of frozen crab legs, usually from Alaska. A 2 pound bag of snow crab might cost $18 to $30. The per pound or per half pound price works out to $5 to $10 if you break it down. Warehouse clubs offer the cheapest crab legs if you have a membership.

Online Retailers

$7 to $15 per half pound

Many companies sell fresh crab online that’s shipped overnight like LobsterAnywhere and Newport Seafood. Or you can order frozen crab legs from online grocers like Walmart or Amazon. Shipping costs may apply. Expect to pay $7 to $15 for a half pound of legs from online seafood retailers.


$12 to $25 per half pound

Sit-down restaurants and buffets often prepare fresh crab legs. Menu prices typically range from $15 to $40 per pound. So you’ll pay $12 to $25 for a half pound crab leg entree. Steakhouses, seafood restaurants, and Asian buffets are good places to order crab legs while dining out.

Factors Affecting Cost

Several factors impact the retail price of crab legs for a half pound order:

Type of Crab

As covered earlier, king and snow crab cost more per pound than blue crab or Dungeness. The rarer species have higher market prices.

Fresh vs. Frozen

Fresh crab is more expensive than frozen since it must be shipped faster. Frozen legs can be stored in warehouses allowing for lower prices.

Meat Yield

Some crabs have more usable meat per pound. Larger king crab legs yield more edible meat vs. smaller blue crab legs per pound.


Crab legs that are cleaned, cracked, and packaged cost extra compared to whole crab legs. Legs that are ready to cook and eat offer convenience.


Crab legs are cheapest at the source like the Pacific Northwest for Dungeness or Maryland for blue crab. Prices rise as you move away from harvesting regions due to transportation.


Supply is limited outside peak crab seasons. Prices usually spike around holidays when demand is higher.

Sales and Discounts

Weekly sales and loyalty programs can drop prices $2 to $5 per pound on crab legs. Watch for deals to save money.

How to Save Money

Here are some tips to get the best deal when buying crab legs:

Buy Frozen Crab Legs

Frozen crab is significantly cheaper than fresh. Check your local supermarket or warehouse store.

Look for Sales or Coupons

Grocery stores and online seafood retailers often run weekly specials on crab.

Join Loyalty Programs

Warehouse clubs and grocery chains offer lower member prices. Sign up for digital coupons and alerts on seafood sales.

Buy Directly from a Local Vendor

Fishermen, crab shacks, or dockside vendors will offer lower prices than retail.

Buy Less Popular Varieties

Try more affordable crab like Dungeness instead of king crab.

Buy Whole Crabs Instead of Legs

It takes extra processing to make legs, so whole crabs cost less per pound.

Cook More Meals at Home

Skip restaurant markups by preparing your own crab at home. Steam them yourself.

Average Half Pound Costs

Here is a summary of typical costs for a half pound of the most popular crab leg varieties from different sellers:

Type of Crab Legs Seafood Market Price Grocery Store Price Restaurant Price
King Crab Legs $15-$20 $12-$15 $18-$25
Snow Crab Legs $10-$15 $7-$10 $12-$18
Dungeness Crab Legs $6-$10 $5-$8 $10-$15
Blue Crab Legs $6-$10 $5-$8 $10-$15

As you can see, king and snow crab legs tend to be the most expensive while blue crab and Dungeness offer savings. Shopping at grocery stores or buying frozen can lower the half pound cost by $2 to $8 compared to fresh seafood markets. And restaurants often add $5+ more per half pound.

Half Pound Serving Sizes

To estimate how many people one half pound of crab legs will serve, here are some general guidelines:

– For starters or appetizers, a half pound of crab legs will serve 2-3 people
– For a main entree, a half pound of legs provides a single serving
– As part of a shared meal or buffet, a half pound feeds 1-2 diners

The serving size can vary based on how large the crab legs are and if any other food is being served. King crab legs and snow crab clusters tend to be quite large. A single diner may finish a half pound for dinner. Smaller legs like Dungeness or blue crab may serve 2-3 people for a starter. Seafood restaurants often recommend 1 to 1 1⁄2 pounds of legs per person for a full meal.

Cost Per Serving Analysis

Based on average costs per half pound, here is an estimate cost per serving:

– King crab legs: $9 to $12 per serving
– Snow crab legs: $6 to $10 per serving
– Dungeness crab legs: $3 to $5 per serving
– Blue crab legs: $2.50 to $5 per serving

King crab is the priciest option at around $10 per person. Snow and blue crab offer a middle ground costing $5 to $8 per serving. Dungeness crab legs provide the most affordable way to enjoy crab legs at just $3 to $5 per person when serving a half pound.


A half pound of crab legs will cost between $4 to $20 depending on the type of crab, retailer, and whether they are fresh or frozen. Dungeness and blue crab tend to be cheapest at around $5 per half pound. King crab and snow crab cost more averaging $10 to $15 for a half pound. You’ll pay more per pound at higher-end seafood markets or restaurants compared to grocery chains. To save money, buy frozen legs, look for weekly sales at supermarkets, or purchase directly from local fishermen if possible. Splitting a half pound of crab legs can feed 2 to 3 people for a starter or appetizer. It provides a single serving as a main entree.

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